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Skull Tattoo:

A Statement About Life And Death: 

Skull tattoos might be associated more with gangs like the Hell’s angels than anything spiritual or meaningful. However, the skull as a symbol of death is present in many cultures, some of which do not see death as grim as modern day Americans. Skull tattoos generally are reserved for people who are trying to make a powerful statement either about the individual or society. The skull tattoo isn’t for people trying to avoid being noticed, that’s for sure.

It’s arguable whether anyone who picks a skull tattoo really is interested in the deeper significance of the skull as a religious symbol. However, gothic people or Wiccans may be more inclined to understand that the skull is about the impermanent and fragile nature of life. Skull tattoos with candles on them are usually reserved for people practicing black magic.

Famous Appearance Of Skull Symbols

The skull and cross bone was used as the flag for pirate ships. It hinted of immense danger and probably struck fear at the people from its very first sighting. However, prior to that the skull and cross bone were used in cemeteries to mark the entrance, which is probably why it’s associated with death. Skull and cross bones are popular types of skull tattoos for those that like them.

It’s also been noted that the skull sometimes appears in Christian images of the crucifixion. Whether that’s to symbolize Christ’s victory over death or as a simple reminder of the literal translation of Golgotha (“place of the skull”) where the crucifixion took place, it’s not certain. However, one can have a skull tattoo with an image of a skull and a cross and have it be quite religious instead of menacing.

Nazis, in modern times, used the skull symbol to terrorize their victims. The skull and cross bones are the official symbol for poison as well. It is these associations that make people think that skull tattoos are reserved for people with blackness in their heart and a violent nature that worships death.

Skull Tattoos As A Celebration Of Life

It’s easy to forget that in the past, many cultures worshipped their ancestors as gods and goddesses who live on in another realm protecting and guiding mortal beings. In such cultures and times, the skull was a symbol of death, but it was also the symbol of a revered ancestor. In this way, a skull tattoo can also be used to celebrate life and ancestors as seen from this perspective. Some people even went so far as to mummify their ancestors and keep their remains around for veneration. In this way, a skull tattoo can take on many deeper meanings of death such as protection, rebirth, and transcendence of human life.

Ornamental Skull Tattoos Celebrating Life

In Mexico, vestiges of this ancestor worship still remain with a celebration called “Day of the Dead.” During this time, many confections of crystallized sugar are made in the shape of a skull, with frosting and ornamentations in different colored frostings. To Mexicans, this day celebrates life even though the major symbol is a skull. Today, many skull tattoos no longer use just black ink to make a stark statement. Skull tattoos can be found in a wide variety of colors.

Skull tattoos are sometimes paired up with very romantic symbols like hearts and flowers. The more elaborate the design the more intriguing and beautiful the skull becomes. In this manner, one can still have skull tattoos that are about life and death but in a framework that appeals to more mainstream tastes.

-Have an example of your skull tattoo that you want to show on our site? Please contact us and tell us about your skull tattoo, why you got it, what it means to you and most imporantly your pic!

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